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STRAIGHT FROM THE DESIGNER: FERNANDA AMARAL ON WHERE DO YOU SEE INTERIOR DESIGN GOING IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?

The interior design industry has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, and will continue to do so for the upcoming 10 years on a much larger scale.

It’s no surprise that technology is literally changing everything around us, and I believe that it will even further enhance the interior design industry.

Interior design services are becoming highly efficient, and even with the changing times the role of technology is going to enhance both the designer and client experience.

Smart homes have already made their way to the industry - empowering people to interact with their homes by voice; controlling temperature, sound system, TVs and lighting. Perhaps one day soon they will also give us the option to have smart work surfaces, allowing us to have multi-functional spaces , including a sink that appears as you wave your hand over a sensor and if you wave again the sink rises to create the illusion of a perfectly clean work surface that can be used as a dining table, study table or have stone surfaces with built-in induction hobs so it appears seamless, and when not being used it can be utilized as a cooking work space. Even a voice-controlled shower/bathtub, a button that changes the view from your window, a wardrobe that will bring you that pair of shoes you couldn’t find before or a TV that you can watch from anywhere in the house. The opportunities are endless and just thinking about it is very inspiring. 



3d printing is also very promising and we will also benefit highly from this technology. We can quickly create a prototype in a miniature form for demonstration. It can be the whole space model, a furniture, a lamp or even a shaped textured material. Creating complex designs would be simplified and also custom-made art pieces or materials could be easily made. Imagine completing the layouts and furniture selections for the 3d printer to simply build the whole space in a miniature form in a few minutes? Through 3d printing time between design and implementation is greatly reduced. The 3d printing is also changing the way some industries are producing their products, in turn becoming beneficial for designers; allowing us to experiment new combinations of materials, shapes and structures that couldn’t be produced by conventional manufacturing methods.





Virtual reality will be truly breathtaking; allowing designers to create, edit and explore their spaces in both two and three dimensional, as well as real scale for the ultimate design experience. As the designer creates a floor plan the app will automatically generate the 3d space and designers can transport themselves into the model, gaining a better sense of scale and depth - allowing them to be more creative and design more efficiently. The designers will be able to walk their client through the space and show them different finishes and design options right away. Suppliers could also have virtual showrooms allowing designers and clients to easily select their desired pieces. Imagine the possibility to simply create a space by moving your hands in the air? How exciting!





Although virtual reality will be more exciting and handy for interior designers, the augmented reality could also help us create spaces and it has already made its way to the industry allowing us to use our phone or tablet to overlay the physical world with virtual elements and I believe that in 10 years time all the furniture and furnishing suppliers will have their own virtual catalogue or a store allowing us to select the piece, even customize it and purchase right away. The augmented reality only works for spaces that are already existing and therefore it could be an amazing tool for refurbishing projects - helping designers to select finishes and furniture right away. The app could even be useful for taking measurements on site and transforming it into CAD plans right away. Imagine how beneficial this app will be for site surveys!

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